I am placing it on my chest. Sticking the head under my chin. It’s a perfect fit. I am holding it, caressing the back. My hands are remembering every inch, every cavity and every nuance of the surface under my wandering palms. My chest knows the weight of it. At the beginning, it must have reached down to my knees. Today just above my belly button.
It is yellow and was given to me when I was one year old. The part between his eyes is still dark, thick and incredibly smooth, like it is untouched. The right arm is broken, just holding together by the skin on the back of it, the straw that makes the interior coming our of it. The right leg would be falling off it wasn’t for the the thin yellow sewing cotton trying to keep it attached to the body, not managing very well. What did I do to that right side to make it so worn out?
And the eyes. Looking right into my heart. Still. How is it possible two dark brown glass buttons with a black center, tucked away in yellow fur are looking right into my heart? Saying I am here. I am listening. I know you inside and out. Every little secret. You don’t need to hide anything from me. You can tell me everything. I know it all all ready. I will help you. Oh this fur, absorbing my tears. Buckets of tears. Lakes of tears.
I think it was my parents who gave me my teddy bear, but I am not sure. I know for sure though they gave me a new, identical one for Christmas when I was thirteen. Yellow fur. Same size.
I don’t know if I had survived my childhood without my teddy bear. It is not something I am easily saying. Putting on paper. But looking into those eyes today again, feeling the body finding it’s place on mine, sensing the comfort of his ragged creature next to mine, I know it.
I slept with my teddy bear and it was always with me on trips and sleep overs. When the straw started falling out of that arm, feet and hands, my mother didn’t want it in my bed anymore. Well, she wanted to throw it away actually. And that’s when she tried to replace it with a new one. Where did she find an exact same? I was thirteen.
13. A teenager. With a teddybear in her bed? Yes. But it was at that age too when I started to keep a journal, for real. There are pink girly diaries from 11 and 12, casually kept, but at the age of 13 I started writing every day. Every single day. And my teddy bear(s) got some relief when I added my journal to my very little circle of life saving friends. I am wondering now, were the bears a he? No, I think they were an it.
My mother’s replacing trick kind of worked. I didn’t let her throw away my first one though. Looking at it now I am amazed of how I tried to repair my beloved comforter. Where did I find leather to cover his feet and hands? And those tiny tiny stitches with the yellow thread through the thick leather and firm and impassable straw, how did I even do that? And that repair is still holding up, 45 years later.
Now, my two yellow teddy bears live in my guest room, the Honey Chamber. Teddy bear nr 2 is a bit ragged by age too, you can see it filled it’s purpose. They are sitting together, like two siblings who have been through quite a lot. Occasionally though, they move in to my bed room.
There are times when my journal isn’t enough. When a paper is a too flat of a receiver. When writing chock, despair and pain down is just writing it down. When that ritual doesn’t close the day and gives me the peace to fall asleep. When the situation makes the night unbearable and the morning to come something to dread. That’s when my teddy bear moves in with me. It’s rare, but over the years, it has happened.It’s been a very emotional week. And the other evening I didn’t know how to make it through the night. Then I remembered my childhood life savor. And he looked at me with those eyes, full of eternal wisdom. And I placed my teddy bear on my chest, the head under my chin. Hugging his firm and soft body. My hand holding the back of his head, lips kissing his fore head. His yellow fur absorbing my tears, once again. On my side later, in fetal position, it found it’s place in front of me. My arm around, knowing exactly where to be. Like we’ve never been apart. And it took me through the night.